Livestock farming is one of the leading and oldest economic activities of man, closely related to animal domestication techniques and the exploitation and production of its derivatives.
Among the first animals to be domesticated is the sheep, whose history dates back to between 11,000 and 9,000 B.C. Today, you can see them in the following animated images below.
Animated Sheep Images
Its wild ancestors probably proved to be suitable for domestication, having low aggressiveness. It is also early sexual maturity, a high reproduction rate, and a gregarious character that facilitated manipulation.
Similarly, as shown over time, the sheep have great versatility in adapting to different topographies and grazing areas, which favors their breeding.
Well, sheep are timid and fearful animals. A little unexpected noise is enough to make them run away altogether in the same direction.
The sheep’s male is the ram, which is usually equipped with horns (not in all sheep breeds). The female has them only in very few cases. The young are called rams.
The length varies between 1 and 2 meters. The height depends on the breed. It is usually between 0.5 and 1.3 meters. The weight varies between 35 and 105 Kilos.
The sheep is a ruminant mammal, so its stomach is divided into four parts. Its digestive system is different from that of humans.
First, it tears up the grass and plants from the ground, chews them slightly, and swallows them. Then it lies down to rest, regurgitates (returns to the mouth) the food to chew it carefully, and passes to another part of the stomach to perform the digestion.
It is also a domestic ungulate animal, and at the end of its four legs are the hooves. Its hair is curly and is commonly called wool.
As for its color, there is a great variety that goes from white to brown and even black. On the other hand, they have a good sense of smell. They can detect odors and differentiate them at quite a distance.
As for their vision, despite being an animal that has a correct view, their visual field is usually relatively narrow and frontal. So they do not see very well laterally.
Likewise, sheep have an excellent and sensitive sense of hearing, so they do not like to be manipulated much by their ears.
In the past, their skin, opportunely tanned, was widely used in bookbinding. But it was also used in many other cases.
This animal is herbivorous, feeding on low leguminous grasses and small shrubs.
It is possible to combine sheep grazing with other animals such as cows since the latter will only eat the tall grasses, so there is no competition for the same food.
In sheep farming, it is also possible to feed the flock – the name by which the sheep collective is known – with alfalfa.
Due to its domestic character, it lives in herds, making it easy for males and females to mate at any time of the year.
Once copulation has taken place, the gestation period extends for five months, after which the female gives birth to one or two offspring.
The female will suckle her young for three months, after which time the young can be weaned.
The females reach sexual maturity between 5 and 10 months of age, while in the males, this period occurs between 3 and 6 months of age.
The breeders recommend preserving the specimens for breeding until they are one year old to ensure healthy and safe births.